Thomas.I Microsoft BI & Analytics

A Site Dedicated to General BI Issues and MS BI Issues: Architecture and Technology

The best guide to Performance Point Monitoring and Analytics

Posted by thomasivarssonmalmo on May 19, 2008

My first experience with Performance Point M & A was a year ago at the first MS BI conference in Seattle. At that time the plan was  to include a ProClarity tool like Decomposition Tree as a report template but this feature was excluded in the final release. All ProClarity integration have been scheduled to be included in PP M & A version 2.0 .
It was ten months later that I have started to really learn how this product works.
The first thing was to by a book and the choice was "Monitoring and Analyzing with Microsoft Office Performance Point Server 2007" by Nick Barkley and Adrian Jones(Rational Press). What is my opinion about this book and the product?
I will start with the product. Performance Point M & A is more or less the second version of MS BI Scorecard Server. It has nothing to do with ProClarity except that you can integrate ProClarity reports in PP reports in dashboards. It also relies heavily on MS Office web components, a depreciated technology, for making reports. For customers with a working ProClarity solution the upside is only to learn more about the Sharepoint Platform in the form of the free Sharepoint Services or MOSS/Sharepoint 2007 server. The last you will have to pay for. 
Anyway PP M & A can be a good choice for ProClarity customers that do not use the ProClarity Dashboard Server.
What about the book then? It has 250 pages and does a good job to explain PP M & A for experienced previous MS Business Scorecard Server users. It is not a book for dashboard or balanced scorecard rookies. Even if you have worked with dashboards like the ProClarity version you must start from the beginning. The two writers of the book are 90 percent balanced scorecard guys and they expect you to be experienced in this area.
Although this sounds as hard thoughts about the book it is a must have, even if it is a little bit to much balanced scorecard oriented. The book will not give you all the answeres you need but there are some good blogs that will help you with questions that are not covered in the book. This blog seems to be the most important.
I am also aware of that you cannot cover everything in a book with 250 pages. If this book is the best or not I do not know, since I have only seen two titles on Amazon and only read this one, but it is good enough and a must have.
As a last advice I recommend you to be critical and realize that you will need a good partner in both data warehouse and performance management skills to build good solutions with PP M & A.

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